Hilton staff stole ‘commission' from bookings

24 August 2006
Hilton staff stole ‘commission' from bookings

Six employees at a Hilton hotel and a booking agent conspired to steal a total of £200,000 in bogus commission payments, a court ruled last week.

The staff, from the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham, were found guilty of diverting "commissions" when firms had booked conferences direct, which should have been paid only on reservations placed by an agent.

The two men who "drove the conspiracy forward" were John Kreft, who was then director of sales at the Metropole, and conference and banqueting director Barry Lyne.

A judge at Coventry Crown Court heard that Lyne made £36,369 out of the conspiracy, while Kreft pocketed £97,747. The other five stole between £1,500 and £15,000 in the scam.

Kreft was jailed for two-and-a-half years and Lyne for 18 months, with the others handed either suspended prison sentences or community service orders. They were also ordered to return the money to the Metropole and pay it compensation.

The scam came to light in 2003 when a former employee blew the whistle.

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